Christmas came early today on Tucsons Southside for 225 kids. United Hearts of Arizona hosted their 10th Annual Shoe and Jacket Distribution for kids in need.

Its founder, Maria Vianey Valdez-Cardenas started the event after seeing the need firsthand while working for the Tucson Unified School District.

Kids coming with zip ties on their pants holding them, dirty clothes, you know, not eating well, Valdez-Cardenas described.

In 2013, the Shoe and Jacket Drive was born.

We know the holidays are a hard part for a lot of the families, they dont have the basic needs, Valdez-Cardenas said. So, this is like a little push for the students to feel more confident when they go to school.

In the events first year, a handful of students received a new pair of shoes. Now in its tenth year, 225 students got items. They’re students within the Tucson Unified School District, Sunnyside Unified School District, and two charter schools.

The schools selected each student; together, all of them leaving the event with a bag full of gifts which including:

Jacket Pair of shoes Toy Gift card Meal voucher

While at the Shoe and Jacket Drive, they also had the opportunity to meet Tucson Police Department officers and take pictures with Santa in a photobooth.

This was all made possible through donations from the community.

Valdez-Cardenas added, We are doing it just to make a difference and an impact on our students.